4 Things To Avoid When Running Your First Google Ads Campaign

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Jeroen Minks
  • Published February 9, 2024
  • Word count 571

Have you tried running Google Ads for your business yet?

Running your first Google Ads campaign can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the Google platform.

Often, businesses have tried using Google Ads but didn't succeed and concluded that it’s too expensive and simply ‘didn’t work’ for them. But in fact, these businesses didn’t test the platform properly.

Here are 4 things to avoid when running your first Google Ads campaigns.

  1. Broad match keywords.

Google Ads allows you to add keywords in different match types: broad match, phrase match and exact match.

The difference between these match types is that they match the search queries differently. Exact match is the most targeted approach, as your ad will only show for queries that have the exact meaning or intent as the keyword. Broad match will show your ad for everything that is closely related to the keyword.

For example, the keyword 'dog walker' in exact match will match misspellings, plurals and variations like 'dog walkers'. Whereas the broad match keyword 'dog walker' could match more generic queries like 'dog friendly walks', 'dog sitting' and even 'dog food'.

When creating new keywords, these are standard added as broad matches. Broad match types often give the worst results as you will get a lot of irrelevant clicks and thus wasted ad spend.

Rather than relying on the broad match type, I recommend using the more targeted variants instead.

  1. Not using negative keywords.

Another way to limit any irrelevant clicks and wasted ad spend for your business, is to use negative keywords.

In combination with a targeted keyword list, negative keywords are the best way to stay in control of when Google decides to show your ad. For example, if you are running a dog walking business and want to avoid your ad being shown for any search queries related to dog food you can add 'food' as a negative keyword.

Negative keywords will help you to keep your ads targeted to your audience.

  1. Using a small keyword list.

A small keyword list can limit the reach and performance of your advertising campaigns.

Obviously, relying on just a few broad-match keywords won’t give you the results you want. It will most likely blow out your budget with very little results. Instead, expanding your keyword list with long-tail keywords will give you far more control over when Google will show your ad.

In our example about the dog walking business, you can add all the locations that you serve as individual keywords. For example, you would get a keyword list that contains ‘dog walker Sydney’, ‘dog walker Melbourne’ etcetera.

  1. Using just one ad group

Avoid using just one ad group in your Google Ads campaign.

Splitting out the ad groups will allow you to write better ad copies, improving your relevancy and Quality Score and reducing your cost per click.

For example, if you split out your keyword list based on location make sure to split these out on an ad group level also. That way you can write more specific ad copy and adjust your bidding based on each location individually.

Running your first Google Ads campaign can be very challenging. Hopefully, these 4 things to avoid will help you to set up your first campaign properly.

You might still conclude that things don’t work for you, but at least you gave your business a fair chance of succeeding.

Jeroen Minks is the owner of Vazooky Digital, a boutique Google Ads agency in Sydney, Australia.


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